Tulsa

Metro Pentecostal Church in Tulsa has lost several congregants and at least one pastor to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus currently spreading throughout Oklahoma, the country, and the world. One member spent 31 days on a ventilator. The head pastor fought and recovered from the illness.

Still, on Sunday, it became one of the first churches in Tulsa to reopen for in person worship service following Governor Kevin Stitt's orders to allow houses of worship to begin welcoming back congregations.

Twitter/@QuikTrip

Weeks after a 22-year-old assistant manager at a Tulsa location of the Oklahoma-based convenience store and gas station chain QuikTrip died of COVID-19, the company has announced it is seeking to hire new assistant managers for its Tulsa stores.

"We look forward to expanding our hometown team of employees in the Tulsa area with hardworking, service-oriented people," a company representative said in a press release.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt defended his decision to allow the state's businesses to reopen.

"We peaked at hospitalizations with 560 across the state," Stitt said. "Today we have 300 across the state in our hospitals. And so we think it's time for a measured reopening."

Wallace asked Stitt about statements by Dr. Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, in which Monks characterized the reopening as too early and not in keeping with White House guidelines.

KWGS News File Photo

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — As demand declines during the coronavirus pandemic, the country's lowest average price per gallon is in Tulsa.

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell 14 cents over the past two weeks, to $2.01 per gallon. An industry analyst says prices at the pump have dropped 52 cents over the past seven weeks.

The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.22 per gallon in Honolulu. The average price of diesel is $2.69, down seven cents.

Tony Webster on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

According to Ray Hoyt of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, more than 9 million visitors came to Tulsa in 2018, spending over a billion dollars.

"Our job," Hoyt said on a Thursday conference call to the Chamber's members, "is to get those visitors back."

With the city's "Safer at Home" order shuttering restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, and the national economy stalled, Tulsa's tourism economy is on pause.

While most of us canceled travel plans and hunkered down, Chris Polansky bought a van, packed up his belongs and his trusty dog, Trout, and drove half-way across the country to become our new Morning Edition Host and News Reporter.  In healthier times, we would have thrown a little get-together so you could meet him.  In lieu of that, we stayed WAY far away and asked our newest staff member a few questions:

Public Radio Tulsa:  Tell us a little about yourself, Chris.

Tulsa Regional Chamber Facebook

Citing projected revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tulsa Regional Chamber said it was forced to lay off 15 employees, about one-fifth of its workforce.

"We’re very sad," said Mike Neal, the Chamber's president. "We hated to have to do this, but the Chamber is over 120 years old and we had to stay in business. We have to run our organization as a business."

Greenwood Chamber of Commece

A Tulsa nonprofit that maintains the historic neighborhood known as "Black Wall Street" has been awarded a $500,000 federal grant.

Spring is already upon us, which means it’s time for Tulsa’s classical music institutions to set their programs for next season. Whether you have season tickets to the Tulsa Opera or it is on your bucket list to attend a Tulsa Ballet performance, there is something for eveyrone right here in our hometown. Here’s an overview of what you can look forward to hearing next season:

To keep Tulsa vital, organizers of a summit on the city’s future say there must be more of an effort to keep and attract young people. Members of Tulsa’s Young Professionals took part in today’s EnVision Summit to kick around ideas on how to make the region a better place to live, work, and play. One of those young professionals is Janae Castell, who says she’d like to see the city use its’ positives to become a draw for young families.

Castell mentions the Arkansas River as an asset that should be more fully developed in order to help make Tulsa shine.